Aurora Flight Sciences LightningStrike X-Plane. Image courtesy of Aurora
Aurora Flight Sciences has reached an agreement with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to transition its X-Plane program technology to commercial applications. This includes expanding its research into commercial eVTOL systems. The program’s XV-24 subscale vehicle demonstrator (SVD) is developed for DARPA’s Vertical Takeoff and Landing Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane).
The program has delivered several innovations including the development of a synchronous electric-drive system as well as distributed electric propulsion ducted fans. It has both tilt-wing- and tilt-canard-based propulsion for vertical takeoff and landing. There is also high efficiency in both hover and high-speed forward flight.
These milestones advanced the concept of distributed electric propulsion applied to Aurora’s eVTOL on-demand aircraft, which is being developed in partnership with Uber.